A plant that successfully blooms doesn’t just happen. Beautiful blooms are the result of intentional and faithful cultivation – planting at the right time and way, watering consistently, making sure the nutrients a plant needs are present. When all of those things are in place, a healthy plant is the result – a plant that will ultimately bloom.
The same is true for our individual lives, and our life together as First Church. If we are to “bloom” – experience life as God intends it to be – we must intentionally cultivate our connection to Jesus so it can provide the energy for the transformation Jesus want to bring to us. This brief series will connect us to three practices that will help us do that.
WEEK 1: MAY 25 AND 26
You have bloomed, into a beautiful, fierce, loving child of God. Now how do you stay that way? What is your part in this world as a child of God? What makes you unique? What special purpose and plan does God have for your life? After having come alive in the faith of Jesus Christ the next question should always be, how can I serve the Kingdom of God here on earth? The answer to this is one that will set your path on full time search mode. In and through worship we search and surrender. We empty ourselves out to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then works in our life to bring about clarity and confidence in who we are and what part we are to play. Worship ultimately brings clarity. Clarity brings purpose and the fulfillment of our purpose brings life. Worship as King David did, worship as the rocks do, worship as God intended us to!
Monday (5/27): 1 Chronicles 16:23-31
Tuesday (5/28): Luke 19:28-40
Wednesday (5/29): 2 Samuel 6:12-22
Thursday (5/30): Romans 12:1-21
To prepare for our next times together in worship, read the following scripture passages. Pay attention to what they say about how to take the “next steps” in the growth of your faith.
Friday (5/31): 1 Peter 2:1-3
Saturday (6/1): Colossians 2:1-15
Sunday (6/2): Ephesians 4:7, 11-16
WEEK 2: JUNE 1 AND 2
All plants need things like water and sunshine. But different plants must be cultivated in different ways – they need different fertilizers, and soils, and amounts of sunshine. People’s journey with Jesus is exactly the same. All of us need things like worship and prayer and time with scripture, but we’ll all come to those things from different places. The goal of our discipleship pathway is to help people discover where they are in their connection to Jesus, and what the next step for them to go deeper with Jesus needs to be. This text from Ephesians affirms and illustrates this. Grace is given to each of us as God designs, and as each of us steps fully into whom God calls us to be, we – as individuals and as a church - will reach maturity. For us to “bloom” as God intends, we must get in touch with the grace Christ has given to each of us, where we are in living into that grace, and what the next step is for us toward maturity in Christ.
We have surrendered, we have allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal our purpose, we are growing and then the storms of life happen. A sickness strikes, unemployment threatens financial stability, a marriage falls apart. Life happens to all of us and no doubt you have your own story of the difficulties of different seasons in life. How do you not only survive them but continue to thrive in the midst of them? How do you continue to grow regardless of what is going on around you? Being intentional about walking in those “next steps” of our faith will help you to continue an upward and inward growth in Christ. There will be seasons that are tougher than others but there is nothing that says growth must stop during them. We may fall down but if we remain in Christ we will get back up.
MONDAY (6/3): Ezekiel 37:1-14
TUESDAY (6/4): Hebrews 6:1-12
WEDNESDAY (6/5): 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
THURSDAY (6/6): 2 Peter 1:3-11
In preparation for next week’s worship times, please read the following scripture texts. Pay attention to what they say about “serving.”
FRIDAY (6/7): Mark 10:35-45
SATURDAY (6/8): John 13:1-17
SUNDAY (6/9): 1 Peter 4:7-11
WEEK 3: JUNE 8 AND 9
Jesus is clear that serving is a key element in following him (John 13.) Peter says grace is given to each of us, and its purpose is to enable us to serve others and point them to Jesus – to how he lived and to the things that are important to him. As we serve in the ways he did, our connection to Jesus gets deeper – the “plant” is cultivated and our lives and the Church is set up to bloom in the ways Jesus calls us to. As you read the following passages, note what they say about using what we have to serve the needs of others.
MONDAY (6/10): Matthew 20:20-28
TUESDAY (6/11): Matthew 10:40-42
WEDNESDAY (6/12): Matthew 25: 14-30
THURSDAY (6/13): Luke 10:25-37
NEW SERIES........ BLESSED!
We want to be a church where the past is not fatal, the present has power and the future has hope because of Jesus Christ. We talked a lot in the recent two series about focusing on and following Jesus. That focus will be more and more important as we move into the next chapters of life as First Church, and as a people called United Methodist. What does that focus on following Jesus look like in real time living? Beginning Father’s Day weekend and concluding the second weekend in August, we will walk through the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) one at a time under the heading “BLESSED,” seeking to answer the question each week, “What about this particular teaching makes for a blessed life, and why is that important to following Jesus?” To set the stage for the series, read the following texts and pay attention to what they say about Jesus’ words.
FRIDAY (6/14): John 14:15-24
SATURDAY (6/15): Colossians 3:12-17
SUNDAY (6/16): Matthew 7:24-29